I want to thank Poppet for putting together a post for me on what it means to be an indie author. I have found Poppet to be engaging and interesting, and always controversial. I reviewed Seithe (Pravus) as one of my first reviews here. You can agree or disagree with Poppet, but you'll never wonder how she feels about an issue.
Thank you W J for having me as a guest author on your blog. You've asked me to write about being an Indie author, but I'm going to use this opportunity to also introduce your readers to my work.
In brief, I was raised in an oppressive and violent environment. And everything wrong in my world, everything I feared, everything that made me cry, came with a label attached. That label was called the Bible. It was misused in my home, to such a degree that when my parents divorced, I vowed to never set foot in a church again.
What I could never know was that my childhood would awake in me a deep desire to get to the bottom of this thing we call religion. To the point where it's taken up the bulk of my life. I have spent my life doing research.
Because of this, there is a trend in my books. (A strange trend to be sure.) You could even call them parables. Sharing with my readers what I have spent my life researching. Seithe for example is a book which shows you the glory of humanity. What is it that makes us so very special? Seithe is a Vampyre, but not the kind you're thinking of when you hear the word vampire. Instead the entire tale is about what it is that's so very special about being human, and why it's coveted by other 'beings'. My Heresy series is labelled Heresy, because it draws heavily on texts not accepted by the church. However my latest offering Erra, addresses these issues head on, in the author's note at the back of the book.
Because I am controversial, being an Indie author suits me. I have no one telling me what I may or may not do in my work. I can release as many books as I can write in a year (in the last year I have released a total of 14 books), basically I have no restrictions. And because I grew up surrounded with unreasonable restrictions, enforced with fear and violence, you can pretty much bet your hat that I don't work well as an adult, inside a restrictive system.
I like to be free. Free to follow my heart, and share my life's work with my readers in engaging stories which flirt with a whole mountain of truth. Truth of course is subjective to where your comfort zone is, and how far you're willing to challenge your own beliefs. Heresy, when I wrote it, it destroyed everything I believed, and I think it broke me out of a mental prison. However I was still conditioned with fear, and I cried for days, shaking with fear, thinking about how what I was reading and revealing (and writing) was wrong.
Such is conditioning, and that's how powerful it is, especially if you were conditioned from birth to expect severe repercussions for challenging authority. Especially the authority of a book. It seems so fitting then, that I do this in the same form. With a book. And now that I have read the book which terrorized my life, and found in it some of the truth, I am using my own power to make my readers aware of the bits glossed over.
Make no mistake, I'm not a preacher, and I really don't like the idea of forcing your opinion on others. All I do with my books, is offer another perspective to my readers. What they do with that perspective is completely their own choice.
And because I know that some of my work will press buttons, I am unafraid of lashback and scathing reviews. This is something every author must face (Indie or otherwise). And it's something all authors must embrace. Criticism is an exercise of free will. Not everyone is going to like your work. And that's okay. If we all liked the same things, life would be very boring indeed, and take out night would be predictable.
We are all unique, and I embrace that. I love knowing I'm one of a kind. And so are you. Which means no two books should ever be the same. When we create anything, it should be from the heart, and with the best intentions. Do your best when you create a novel, and then let it go. What the world does with that book isn't your problem. Your only role is to sit down, and write a new book, from the heart, to the best of your ability.
Hence, Indie fits me, it sits really well with me, and I have to say I am thrilled to be an author during this era of revolution in the literary world.
If any of your readers would like to sample my work, they will find three of my books offered for free on Smashwords. (Heresy, Blindsided, and Fey's Adventures). These books are also free at Barnes & Noble, but not on Amazon (I apologise, but I don't control Amazon's pricing that way. I asked them to make it free, and they said they reserve that right).
Here below is a teaser from my latest supernatural romance, titled Erra, which is a tale about a love triangle.